AT&T drops VZW ‘map for that’ lawsuit

Though AT&T (NYSE:T) had another hearing in federal court coming up on Dec. 16, it has chosen to drop its lawsuit against Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) over its series of TV ads attacking AT&T’s 3G network coverage. In two separate filings today with the US district courts in Atlanta and New York, AT&T and Verizon Wireless agreed to dismiss the suit as well as VZW’s counter claims against AT&T.

AT&T had maintained that VZW’s ‘There’s a map for that’ ads misrepresented AT&T’s total US coverage by depicting only the areas of the country where high-speed packet access (HSPA) 3G services were available. While AT&T’s 3G network covers 75% of the population, it is centered in the major metro markets, resulting in a map with huge coverage gaps in between. Meanwhile, Verizon, which has been more aggressive in extending its EV-DO network to small and rural markets, depicted its own 3G coverage as being almost ubiquitous. A federal judge dismissed AT&T’s demands that VZW immediately pull the ads, but granted AT&T another hearing in December. But in the storm of bad publicity that followed–which AT&T has chosen to counter with its own anti-Verizon ad campaign–AT&T appears to have thrown in the towel.

Meanwhile, Verizon isn’t letting up. It released a new commercial in the ‘map for that’ vein this week, playing on the Christmas themes that drew a lot of attention last month such as with the ‘Land of Misfit Toys’ commercials.

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